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Poster: tbrad Date: Nov 20, 2006 1:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

In reading Dennis McNally's 'Long Strange Trip' he details the composition of the head community.
While I'm certain that many of you reading this were road warriors who did't consider anyone who saw fewer than a couple of hundred shows to be a true deadhead, 'Nally makes the point that these were rare among the Dead audience.
He mentions that many of the exclusive prepratory schools had an avid dead following. I can attest that this is a fact.
I was introduced to the Grateful Dead thru bootlegs while attending the Bullis School in Potomac, MD during the mid-eighties - about as exclusive as it gets.
My math teacher in 11th grade, a Yale graduate, was an ardent deadhead. My guidance councelor had a big '20 Years So Far' banner on the wall behind his desk, you remember, the one with the skeleton militiaman. Deadheads were the majority. I got expelled in the 12th grade, and I have to say there were far fewer heads at the public school I finished out at.
Anyone else have a similar experience?

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 20, 2006 2:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

While not elitist by any means the SUNY system had a large following of heads, but to say it was extraordinary would probably be misleading. In the early 70's there was a ton of quality music released and in the metro NY and upstate area more venues to see shows than probably any other region of the country.

Besides the Dead, during the course of 73-75 in updtate NY I saw JGB, Airplane, Byrds, Hot Tuna, David Bromberg, Allman Bros, Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels, Outlaws, NRPS, Doctor John, Elvin Bishop, Kinks, Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, The Band, Dylan, Dave Mason, Clapton, Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Joe Walsh, Van Morrison, Stones, NRBQ and others I can't recall. The ticket price for most were below 10 bucks.

Sorry to ramble, but the point being that in the spring and fall you could catch 4 or 5 shows on each run, but the rest of the time could be well spent on some very high quality music. Unfortunately these other bands didn't have the same kind of drive to record their performances, otherwise I would be lounging around at their archives too.

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Poster: JodyC Date: Nov 20, 2006 6:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

My brother and I were both products of the prep school as the public high shcool where we moved to in NH had a swastika burned on the lawn our first visit there. And my dad had always taught at private schools. That being said, my brother who is 4 yrs older was already into it when I was in 7th grade, so I was exposed when I hit 10th grade, but there were kids my age that were already way into it. Part may come fromthe dead having such a strong east coast presence,and you could get to literally every show they played on tour within 5 states and never have to drive more that 5 hrs. They were very accessible. I admottedly never attended many shows compared to many of my east coast friends.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 20, 2006 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Defn not a road warrior nor were ANY of my fellow heads in the East Bay Area in the 70s...we were more of the intellecutal nerds before they were nerds Heads. Prided ourselves on erudition, reading the same books as Jerry espoused (note that Jerry could be quite the snob on this issue--he argued that Brent was unhappy because he was an E Bay sort that had no connection to 'culture' etc). Not that is was 'right,' nor necessarily 'good,' but that's the way it was to a degree...

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Poster: TheGreat_and_Knowledgable Date: Nov 20, 2006 3:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

i agree with this. In prep schools students tend to show individuality, and not follow norms. By doing so, students would experiment with different types of music, and who else but the Dead???

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Nov 20, 2006 3:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

I confess...

Riverdale Country School '81

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Poster: tbrad Date: Nov 20, 2006 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Great school.

Yeah, I think the Dead are the obvious choice for anyone seeking something deeper from music - and that's what music is supposed to be about anyway - isn't it?
Changing percepetions, opening doors to alternative realities to the ones you find presented in mindless popular culture.

Is there anything like the Dead influencing kids these days to think for themselves?

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 20, 2006 4:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Yup, today's utes are influenced by the finest artists in the hip-hop genre. Even the white boys here in the near rural South can be heard thump thump thumping through the countryside at all hours of the night. (and I'd know if it was a Leshian thumpy thump.)

I know for a fact that previous generations thought that Grateful Dead music was degenerative and without merit...not to mention how they regarded those ne'er do-wells that listened to it. But I wonder if they saw the absolute emptiness I encounter in some kids eyes these days. Were we that hollow? Maybe that stoned, but I rarely recall my counterparts as being so totally void of original thought and substance.

Am I alone in this concern?

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 20, 2006 4:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

I can't stand the way that Presley boy shakes his hips. It's indecent and immoral and just goes to show what listening to race music will do to the youth. Don't even get me started on Little Richard (but that nice boy Pat Boone sure does a nice version of Tutti Frutti).

Not to make light of your concern, but I think each generation has the same fears/concerns re the next and the same dread of the previous one (don't trust anyone over 30 followed by Reagan youth). I, for one, come into contact with lots of teenagers and folks in their 20s, and find them to be roughly the same as were my peers (graduated high school in 1982) - no better, no worse. What I do think is different is their exposure to things, pressures, etc. I think the "loss of innocence" happens a lot sooner now than it did (whatever the hell that means).

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Poster: lastcall Date: Nov 20, 2006 5:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Totally agree, but only to a certain point. With all due respect, "shaking hips" ect. are not comparable to the behavior of current pop culture. drive-by shootings,bitches & ho's, and now the local news coined a new lable, "respect murders". Evidently people are killing other people to gain respect from their peers. It's all way beyond my realm of comprehension.
PEACE!

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 21, 2006 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

YIKES! That I had not heard about - I will now crawl back into my cocoon. Did I say yikes? Yikes.

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Poster: TheGreat_and_Knowledgable Date: Nov 20, 2006 5:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

yes, todays hip hop (sh!t) artists are listened to by my whole school. Some of my best friends listen to this crap music, and i ask why, they say that rap has good beats. Apparently they've never heard a lesh bomb. They just listen to what they are exposed too. You turn on TV everything is the hiphop, pop shit. Same with most radio stations. It outright makes me sick, everyone should have their own vibe, not what the media and whats popular control them

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 20, 2006 5:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

well said lastcall - way beyond me too. just so so sad - i'm scared for my young girls.

i've got no problem with rap and hip hop "music" - it's the violent and "female disrespectful" lyrics that bother me. I enjoy some of the beats until i realize what the "artists" are actually saying to our youth.

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 20, 2006 5:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Riverdale sucks, Jughead. I went to Horace Mann (if it be the Bronx Riverdale, our schools were arch rivals for those in the dark).

I was in the class of '69. One of my classmates, John Starr (his family dropped the ball on Times Square at New Year's) was ahead of the curve. He turned us on to the airplane, etc. One day he came in waiving the first Dead l.p. "This is it!" he pronounced. It was.

That June (if I recall) we went down to the village-- a bunch of preppies with strawberry rolling papers in hand, and bounced down the day-glo painted stairs at the Cafe Au Go Go. There they were--the real thing--ugly as sin and loud as hell (very small place) and we used quite a few of those strawberry papers.

The world was never the same. Thanks, John.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 20, 2006 5:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

very cool story man :) makes me kinda sad i was too young for that type of experience. glad you got to experience it though!!

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 20, 2006 6:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Yeah, I was born at the right time. And in the right place. All I had to do was go downstairs, walk two blocks to the subway, drop in a token, and get off on Bleeker Street.

If i could only remember half of what I saw and heard--on the street as well as inside.

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Poster: tbrad Date: Nov 20, 2006 3:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Your right about Jerry. I remember reading a Rolling Stone interview in which he said that he tried to get Brent into TS Elliot. He also said that he thought Brent dissatisfaction with life came from not having anything to accupy him intellectually outside of music. With folks as intelligent as Jerry, Hunter, TC and Phil around I can see that it would be a tough band to be in if you weren't very well read - but, to me anyway, that's what made their songs so interesting. Themes that required a little thought and maybe some research or life experience to understand.
This in stark juxstaposition to the worthless drivel that is spewed out the typical rap artist....

On the other point, please don't take my original post to be some endorsement of elitist culture - I met just as many idiots at prep school as anywhere else.
It has just always peeked my curiosity as to why certain people tend to gravitate to the dead - they seem to be a cerebral lot wherever they come from.

This post was modified by tbrad on 2006-11-20 23:20:33

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 20, 2006 3:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

I hear you; don't attach any negativity to your initial post nor its implications...I agree that Hunter, and even Jerry, were (are) intellectuals of the first order and that is what makes the early stuff (St Stephen/eleven lyrics??? C'mon!?!) so good...

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Nov 20, 2006 1:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Not a 'road warrior' by any means, and not really sure what a 'deadhead' is since everytime i used to think i had a clearer picture, the equation changed and shifted when meeting another so-called 'deadhead,' ultimately leading me to conclude that it's fruitless and pointless to attempt to define a 'deadhead' anymore than it would be to say, define a person who is a fan of another band or type of music. Don't know about the prep school connection to followers of the GD, but i would imagine that given the fact that they are in a prep school, particularly an 'exclusive' one, they had the means and the money to do pretty much what they wanted, including following the GD, whatever. In highschool (public), my summers were spent working on the docks of Newport News and Mobile, in order to save money for college that i knew wasn't coming from the folks.

This post was modified by Arbuthnot on 2006-11-20 21:59:30

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Nov 20, 2006 1:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

got many a tape from Suffield academy students

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Poster: AcidBassRxn Date: Nov 21, 2006 5:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

if orchiddoctor wrote a book, I for one, would buy it

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 21, 2006 5:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

That's a very kind thing to say.

As I said, I was extremely lucky. It would have been just as easy to have grown up in Manhattan and missed it all. Not everyone like the idea of being scruffy, smoking dope, and hanging out on the streets. And I am grateful for those who were already there.

I have a cousin, I guess she's around 62 now, who was a serious folkie in the early sixties. She used to take me down to these little coffee shops/cafes/clubs where we would listen to the constant influx of "new" artists such as this really strange fuzzy headed guy from Minnesota who loved Woody Guthrie a lot. Can't remember his name for the life of me.

As to this Garcia fellow, he seemed to have this great propensity for hanging out on the corner, smoking endless joints, and rapping into the wee hours with anyone who would rap back.

Trivia question: When the Dead were playing downstairs at the Care Au Go Go, who was playing upstaits at the Garrick Theater?

A pack of zig zags to the winner.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 21, 2006 7:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Mr Earls best guess would be Frank Zappa, who probably wasn't all that influenced by what was going on downstairs.

I grew up in North Jersey and we would cut school, pay a quarter to ride the bus into the NY Port Authority and then walk down to the Village to see what was up. It was 70 or 71 and the remnants of the "Summer of Love" were on sale at every head shop, record store or poster boutique along Bleeker. Pinback buttons and bumper stickers making way to big of an announcement of who and what you were.

The counterculture was already in the rearview mirror, and the cynicism of the 70's already taking hold. The Village of 5 years earlier was like the sold-out Haight of 69, a tourist mecca.

We learned in High School to keep your stash hidden, drive a plain looking family car and tuck your hair up under your cap. Too many friends busted and sent away for too long. There was a time and a place to let loose, but it was never well advertised. Always a serious cat and mouse game with the authorities. For us, the Village, and especially the East Village was a place to watch each others backs and never, ever get out of control.

Moving on to college in 72 in Upstate NY offered a different pace and atmosphere much more compelling for heads. The smallish towns hosting huge universities were ripe for the kind of anarchy and personal freedoms that we had in mind. The authorities were well outnumbered and seemed like they turned a blind eye to college kids "just having a little fun." Animal House was not a fictional representation of the times.

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 21, 2006 10:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Head/Prep School Connection

Better send me an address to send those zig zags to!

Yep, Frank Zappa, the house band for the Garrick Theater.

Apt description of the Village post 68-69. The "Summer of Love" thing came around a year later than S.F. Of course, like S.F., it came with Hell's Angels (neighbors to the Fillmore), speed freaks (the dead playing Thompkins Square Park? Whew. Talk about yer junkies). Everybody knowing what everybody was doing but not doing it in the street. Staying clear of the alleyways.

But, still, The Electric Circus where Jimi subbed for Paul Buttefield in the Electric Flag while Clapton sat nearby. And they let you in for free if you were barefoot. Or Dylan hanging out when he still lived on 4th Street. All these icons walking around as if, as if, gasp! they were humans like the rest of us.

By 1969, the first wave was gone, replaced by weekend hippies in denim uniforms, headbands, and beads. Far out.
I confess to being in the latter group. I didn't live in the Village; I came and went when I felt like it. I wasn't exactly a tourist, but I wasn't a foreigner either.

By 1970, yes, cynicism had set in. Not just political cynicism fueled by assasinations, the war, Chicago, and tricky Dicky, but by our sense that somehow we were cooler than everyone else.

Woodstock was not a beginning, it was an end. It was a nasty, muddy experience, trying to hear bands from a sound system too small to be heard, staying up till dawn to hear the airplane or Hendrix (when Jimi came out, ovre half the concertgoers had already left!), trying to avoid the bad acid. Woodstock was a gathering of the tribes that missed the beginning, the accidental moment when forces came together to create something new and original. The bus was overloaded by then.

BUT . . . . it was still great, all of it. Even if we weren't the discoverers, we still had quite an adventure.

Yep--Zappa as a house band.